Why abandon all checks and balances?
I am astonished that ICANN would contemplate a settlement that gives VeriSign
1. automatic price increases and 2. tenure.
The cost of computing power, storage and network bandwidth continues to decrease. Why should the cost of registry services, of all things, increase? VeriSign already charges much more than the operator of the world's second largest registry: DENIC. If VeriSign is unable to control costs, perhaps ICANN should consider hiring DENIC to run .com instead, rather than signing off on further price hikes. The discussion of the .net bidding process has shown that DENIC, among others, would in fact be perfectly capable of operating .com.
ICANN is proposing to sign a contract with an automatic renewal clause so restrictive that it permanently removes any bargaining power ICANN might otherwise have. This would be an unsound business practice and a violation of due diligence in any case, even with a supplier of the highest moral fiber. VeriSign, however, has in the past shown itself completely unworthy of such a level of trust. To cite just a few examples: SiteFinder, predatory marketing of end-user domain registration services, the appalling antics of Jamba.
If, as seems likely, ICANN wishes to continue its unfortunate business relationship with VeriSign, it must implement the strongest possible checks and balances on VeriSign's behavior.
Please do not sign the proposed settlement.
Sincerely, Chris Ferebee ferebee.net